The Magpie Anthology

The Skies of Hurworth Burn: 2020

Our North East contributor Ivor Robinson explains his fascination with photographing the sky.

“I like shots from the air, many, many moons ago when I was very much younger, but fully engrossed in my work, which was ground breaking at the time – building huge oil platforms and moving large heavy structures around. I was presented with a book by a French counterpart who was working with us at Greythorpe. It was a full colour book of photographs taken solely from the air in France. It mesmerised me. I was amazed at the different characteristics the landscape took, the shapes and colours were completely different from what we could see from the ground and patterns, many of them abstract that could be seen from the air were brilliant.  I wanted to do it, but where do you start, in those days the options were: hire a plane (not on my salary) or find a friend who has one (I had a friend who was learning to fly but they wouldn’t take a passenger). Nowadays it is a reality open to everybody and I am jealous as hell at the results I see daily!

Two of my circle of friends now own drones and I am dazzled by the results they are getting, it’s yet another arm of photography. I would love to do it, but I know I don’t have enough time. I am hard pressed keeping up with the images I take on a daily basis. Aerial Photography has to join one – sorry make that two – others of my interests that has already taken a seat on the back burner, namely “Time Lapse Photography” and “Video Photography.” I just do not have the time, energy or inclination to go through all the learning curves and practice needed to become adept in those techniques. To do them properly they demand full time preparation and attention to details and of course these days, you need to be registered and completed a Drone licence and abide by strict flying regulations.

I get itchy when I am not using my camera for more than a day, so much so I was determined to go and shoot a sunset – if there was one. I jumped in the car and tried to decide where to go, the problem we have is that it is almost impossible to shoot a landscape within 50 miles of here without including pylons or wind turbines and I get sick of them after a while. (I know in Photoshop I could delete them, but I would know they were really there.) I took the road inland towards Trimdon, Nr Durham. The problem with pylons is they always stand out on all the high ground and as I drove I realised I just had to live with it and pulled into field on the way to Hurworth Burn. Then I waited, it was still wet and I was glad I was wrapped up and had on my walking boots, the odd bit of drizzle and some breeze from which I was able to shelter from behind the small wood at the back of the field. And I waited!

And waited! 

Till I got cold and lonely.

Then I went home.

Of course I took a few images while I waited and these images are the result”

Enjoy. Good Light. Ivor.

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